Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

How to Explain Which Republicans Will Support Trump, and Which Won't

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio carries a sign reading "Dump Trump", in reference to candidate Donald Trump, at Rubio's campaign headquarters, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Miami. I t's been a tough few years for the Republican "establishment." Criticized and vilified, they've become a pariah within the party they're supposed to dominate. The only saving grace is that since the group itself is so nebulous, anybody can claim that they aren't a part of it. Perhaps that's why the establishment seems to have such trouble getting its act together. It couldn't stop the Tea Party from determining the GOP's agenda, it couldn't get any of its favored candidates the presidential nomination, and now what may be its final stab at asserting its will in this era—a last-ditch attempt to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee—seems doomed to fail. In the process, though, there's something interesting happening, something that offers a...

The Trump Campaign's Nasty Turn

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, face off with protesters after a rally on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns Friday, March 11, 2016, in Chicago. T he last week has felt like an inflection point in the story of Donald Trump's run for the White House, when the undertone of hate and violence that has thrummed under his campaign became much louder and more explicit than it had been up until now. There had been protests before, and ugly words and some pushing and shoving—not to mention encouragement from the man with the microphone. But something has changed, and become impossible for nearly anyone to ignore. Every Trump rally now vibrates with the potential for violence, even more than they did before. The rally that was cancelled in Chicago when the protesters who arrived numbered nearly as many as Trump's fans was a significant event. But the most important moment may...

Could Donald Trump Deliver Congress to the Democrats?

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
A supporter holds a Trump sticker before attending a campaign rally, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Orlando, Florida. W ith each preposterous new turn in the GOP presidential primary campaign, the chances of Hillary Clinton becoming president of the United States increase. The trouble is that a Clinton presidency has always promised to be largely an exercise in frustration. That's not because she's an incrementalist (true though that may be), but because she'll likely be confronted with a Republican Congress—and one no more inclined toward compromise and pragmatism than the one Barack Obama faces. But what if that weren't true? Is there any chance Democrats might actually win back control of Capitol Hill and at least let a President Clinton (or a President Sanders, a possibility that remains real, if dwindling) do something that resembles governing? The answer is yes, there is such a chance. And the reason is simple: Donald Trump. We don't yet know whether Trump will be the Republican...

Marco Rubio Is Right: Donald Trump Is a Con Man

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
AP Photo/David J. Phillip Republican presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio, left, reacts as Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston, Thursday, February 25, 2016, in Houston. E ven now, as Republicans mount a last, desperate attempt to stop Donald Trump, they have to do it on his terms, not theirs. They tried saying he wasn't conservative enough, because, they thought, isn't that what we've been arguing about for the last few years? Who's a real conservative and who isn't? But it turned out that while ideology matters a great deal to the elite, it's less important to the rank and file, and it doesn't matter at all to the plurality of Republican voters supporting Trump. Then they figured he might just implode on his own, so nobody bothered to dig up the dirt that would arm them against him. Despite the fact that there surely is plenty there. It was the South Carolina primary...

Bernie Sanders Has a Turnout Problem

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks on the day of the Nevada Democratic caucus, Saturday, February 20, 2016, in Henderson, Nevada. I n order to win the Democratic nomination for the presidency, you have to amass 2,382 of the 4,763 delegates who will attend the party's convention in July. The three contests that have taken place in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada have allotted only 118 of those delegates, or 2 percent. And yet to listen to journalists, pundits, and analysts, the end of the Democratic race is in sight. If Hillary Clinton succeeds in beating Bernie Sanders in South Carolina this coming Saturday, they will declare that she has delivered a crushing blow, leaving him face-down on the canvas, his vision doubled and ears ringing as his weakened arms struggle to raise him up for Super Tuesday, when the final, gruesome pummeling will be administered. If that's what they say, will it be unfair? You bet. There's still a long way to...